Waging Good Warfare



“…wage the good warfare, holding faith and a good conscience…” 1 Tim 18b-19a

I have to be honest about something. I actually look forward to hearing all of the “prophetic” slogans that so many charismatic preachers come up with to “shout in the new year.”  I mean, it’s just amazing to me that in all of the years of my life I’ve never heard any preacher say anything like “2001, you’ll be suffering a ton” or “2008, you’re gonna hate” or “2013 is gonna be mean” (lol).  With all of the promises of suffering and persecution I read in the New Testament it’s just interesting to me how little we often speak of those great promises from God as well.  No, we don’t want to hear any of that.  We want  2001 to be the year God finishes what He’s begun, 2008 to be great, and 2013 to be the year God brings us our King.  We want “success.”  We want victory.  We….well, we want glory.

…but what we’re truly promised is war.

From Genesis to Revelations we see a war against sin and Satan…against light and darkness, the knowledge of God and the knowledge of this world.  In fact, the New Testament church is charged over and over again to fight the good fight, put on the whole armor of God, and endure hardship and suffering like a soldier
(Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. 1 Tim 6:12 , 18 This charge I entrust to you, Timothy, my child, in accordance with the prophecies previously made about you, that by them you may wage the good warfare, 19 holding faith and a good conscience. By rejecting this, some have made shipwreck of their faith, 1 Tim 1:18-19 , Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm Eph 6:13 , 3 Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 4 No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him. 2 Tim 2:3-4 ).  And while the entire Bible points to victory of Christ over sin and death, we still must be careful to “make our calling and election sure” (Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. 2 Peter 1:10 ) through submitting ourselves to the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives and training ourselves for godliness (Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness; 1 Tim 4:7 ) through the good and the bad times of life.

I am a bit disturbed by how much we like to sing and declare that victory is ours at the start of each new year. No, the victory is not ours.  Power does not inherently belong to us.  The victory of sin and death is Christ’s and HE was given all power and authority over heaven and earth (And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Matt 28:18 ).  If we desire any type of victories won in this upcoming year, if we desire to fight any good fight, we must realize that God, and God only, has all power, and that we desperately need to humble ourselves and diligently seek Him (not “the victory”) in order be made righteous, and to be freed from the chains of sin and snare of the Enemy.

This war that we’re in is real!!! We have a real Enemy using real spiritual tactics to try to demolish us in a real, eternal way (For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Eph 6:12 ).  As Melody often says, “Satan is not trying to punch us.  He’s trying to KILL us.”  He is after more than our bodies.  He is after our souls  (The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. John 10:10 ) and we’ve got to start caring more about seeking God and being equipped with spiritual armor than seeking whatever “blessings” we think God has or should have for us in the upcoming year.

Granted, 2013 may be a wonderful year for you as it relates to peace and earthly prosperity, but it could also be a year of pain and discouragement.  However, the truth is that whether you have a year of peace or hand-to-hand combat and pain the Enemy’s desire to devour you will not cease (Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8 ).  Therefore, I urge you to be strong in the Lord and the strength of His might and to put on the full armor of God so that you might withstand the Enemy’s tactics (Eph 6:10-20).

And remember, no matter how this upcoming year plays out, all things work together for the good of them that love the Lord and are called according to His purposes.  This year may not be the happiest year for us (or it very well could be), but, I do know that if we choose to seek God first and to submit ourselves to the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives…if we commit ourselves to being fully alert and engaged in this spiritual war against our flesh and Satan, 2013 could be one of the most spiritually prosperous years for us yet!

Be courageous and wage a good war!

Sharona
@sharonadrake

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  • Wow.
  • I too was that "good" girl and based my righteousness on my actions. When I did commit one of those sins you listed (as if I wasn't already sinning with my pride in myself) I went into deep depression because I placed so much weight on being "good." When I realized (like you) that He is good and my righteousness (actions) are like filthy rags it gave me a new freedom. I was a slave to my misguided perceptions and my so called perfection. Christ offered me a freedom based on who He was and not what I did or did not do. He loved me in spite of me. That for me was freeing. Thank you for sharing this post. Now I see that I wasn't the only misguided one...lol...I'm sure there are many more of us. I look forward to reading more of your posts.
  • I am in tears after reading this! This spoke to me! I can relate! Just a while ago my selfishness rose her head and placed pressure on an old friend to be my superhero. God is the only superhero! He is near ready to comfort! Lord you have spoken! May God Bless this ministry!
  • This is a much needed topic in the church today. I dont know whats worse these church floks that fill your head with lies or that christian mingle commercial?
  • Very wise words, son. Hopefully, they are listening with spiritual ears and a heart to obey.